The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:
On March 22, Administrator Samantha Power was in Miami, Florida to participate in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony between USAID and Florida International University (FIU). The MOU promotes innovative approaches to international development through diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA), and will harness the work of FIU students, faculty and researchers across a range of issues that advance development in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. This MOU is the most recent collaboration under USAID’s Minority-Serving Institution Partnership Initiative. At the signing ceremony, Administrator Power was joined by FIU Interim President Kenneth Jessell where they spoke about the importance of this historic partnership and diversifying the international development field to better address global challenges.
Administrator Power then spoke with Ukrainian students on campus about the fear and extreme stress they are facing because of Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Students shared their experiences of constant concern about their families still in Ukraine, and the effects the war is having on their lives as FIU students. The Administrator then held two roundtables with faculty and students on campus. First, she spoke with members of FIU’s Pride Center about LGBTQI+ rights and their advocacy on campus. She then sat down with students studying international relations and development to discuss USAID’s work and priorities.
Administrator Power concluded her visit to FIU at the university’s Wall of Wind. She spoke with experts about their work in building weather resilient shelters for people who have been displaced from their homes. She then toured a powerful hurricane simulator that enables researchers to better understand the effects of wind on infrastructure in order to prevent wind hazards from turning into community disasters.